I have been thinking a lot about myself, my body, my life, and things I want to change and things I am okay with if they don't change.
There are some things that are non-negotiables. They absolutely must change and must change for the better.
My relationship with myself. I need to love on myself more. Plain and simple. If I don't love me, what's the point?
My relationship with Paul. I need to love on him more. We are happy and in love, but I don't think that I spend enough time and energy on making sure he feels loved.
My relationship with money. Holy crap. I need to get that shit under control.
Those are things I have the power to change. I can do things every day that can compound to having enormous effects on those relationships. I can write out 5 things I love about myself every day. I can tell Paul 5 things I love about him each day and I can set aside uninterrupted time each day for him. I can track how I spend money and start to really chip away at the debt I have, little by little.
Things I can control.
Then there are some things I really have no control over. Some of them are things that have bothered me in the past, but I am slowly starting to care less or at least just not stress about anymore.
The f*cking scale. I actually don't even worry about this one anymore. The scale goes up after I eat, and it goes down after I poop. I can fit into skinny jeans and the scale says I way a ton, or I can feel bloated and the scale says I lost 0.2lbs. I really don't care about it anymore. I used to think that if I ate well and exercised a bunch, the scale would automatically go down. My body composition has changed a LOT in the last year, but the scale seriously has not budged. I can't force those numbers to go down even though I am working my ass off. I have no control over that stupid machine. I'm done with it.
My legs! A year ago, I was so stressed out about my legs and wanting them to be smaller. I looked at other girls and saw their skinny legs and wished and waited for the days for mine to look like them. I've been working out non-stop for the last 2.5 years, done almost 1000 miles of running including 2 marathons, and my legs are still the biggest part of my body. I've tried Paleo, Vegan, and Intermittent Fasting. I can't force my legs to lose weight. Spot training is not a real thing. If it was real, my legs would be small and my boobs would still be big. My legs have done 1000 miles and are big. My boobs just sit there. They haven't done any work in the last 2 years. But my legs are still big, and my boobs have gotten smaller. Spot training doesn't work. Forcing myself to stress about my legs and cry doesn't work. My legs have lost weight, they HAVE gotten a bit smaller, just not at the rate I wanted it to happen. There may never be a day that my legs look exactly how I want them to look. It may just be in my genes or my gender to have legs like mine. I know I have been giving it my all, and I am sick of hating myself. My legs are fine. I can keep working out without stressing. I have to accept my legs as they are and be happy with all the things they have allowed me to do. Maybe one day they will change, but stressing about it and getting mad at them for not changing DOES NOT HELP THEM CHANGE. I don't want to be a woman that hates her body. I don't want to, every year, wish for smaller legs. I will keep doing what I am doing, and let it go.
I have some wrinkles on my forehead that really used to bother me. Someone tried to sell me a $300 kit to fix my wrinkles, and I realized how silly a purchase it was for me. My wrinkles don't really bother me that much. I am 32 years old and allowed to have wrinkles. I'm not 20 anymore. My skin is going to change. It doesn't make me any less of a person to have wrinkles on my forehead. I started to talk about this on my show on Sunday, and then I got flustered and skipped over this whole story.
When I was in 7th grade, I took the bus to school and would always use my sister's Covergirl Compact to check on my skin. I noticed that I kind of looked like Frankenstein when my eyebrows were low. Yikes! Is this what people see when they look at me?
I started to practice raising my eyebrows so I didn't look like Frankenstein anymore and actually looked happy and not scary! Well, when you practice lifting your eyebrows for 20 years, your forehead is going to develop wrinkles. That's life! But it's not something I want to stress about anymore. Sometimes I am going to look like Frankenstein, at least a friendly Frankenstein, and sometimes I am going to look overly happy with forehead wrinkles. I DON'T CARE! I am 32 years old and allowed to have wrinkles! And I feel like my wrinkles are a badge of honor- me getting over the need to look pretty and perfect all the time.
I also have vampire teeth that I wanted to get shaved down or replaced. Blah. Living with them.
I also have this weird part of my nose that crinkles up when I smile or laugh. Paul says I look like a squirrel, and he says that lovingly, and he loves when I laugh or smile so hard that my squirrel nose appears. I'll be fine.
I am not a very religious person, but I do have faith in a higher power and do believe that there is meaning in our lives. I do believe we were put on this earth for a purpose and this all is not just a fluke. I do believe that me worrying about my legs or having the perfect body or having a perfect forehead is a waste of my time. I have no problem spending an hour dolling myself up for an event, but I do have a problem with me stressing and agonizing over things that I can't really change and don't really matter.
Have you heard of the Serenity Prayer? They say it at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but I think EVERYONE NEEDS TO SAY IT EVERY SINGLE DAY.
That's the famous part. I think it takes a lot of wisdom to know the difference. I think you get wisdom by living life, practicing and failing, being desperate and being inspired, by talking to other people, by learning about yourself, by reading, by writing, by doing.
For me and my legs, I learned to get over them because I realized that after a year of hard work, they still hadn't changed much. A YEAR OF HARD WORK. A year of being practically perfect with diet and exercise. A year of me stressing the fck out and crying about them all the time.
Please, please do not think this is me giving up on myself. I am STILL going to work my butt off, but my motivation for working out is different. I love it now. I love what it does for me. I didn't love the person I was when I was stressed out about my legs. I love the person I am when I am focusing on bettering myself and working out because I love myself and accept myself.
Have you heard of the rest of the Serenity Prayer?
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
We have to enjoy the journey. This is our life. Things are not going to be easy, but we learn from it. I am thankful that I had to learn to love myself because it helps me empathize and help other women who struggle with the same thing. I am thankful for my time on this earth. I am happy that I am (currently) at peace with myself, and now when something else comes up that I realized I am imperfect at and I want to pick on myself, I can remind myself that I can accept myself. I've done it before. I can do it again.
Do you struggle accepting yourself? Is there something you really want to change about yourself? Is it really something you can change? Think hard. If it is, list baby steps you can take to work on that change. Is it something you can't change but are having a hard time accepting?
Here's what you need to do:
1. Read the book The Gifts of Imperfection. There is a link. No excuse to not buy it! And yes, buy a copy and mark it up with notes like you did in high school or college. Don't get from the library. You are going to want to reread this in a year and see how you've grown.
2. Join my ongoing complimentary community that has women just like me and women just like you. We are all working on bettering ourselves and accepting the things we cannot change. Here is the link. No excuses to not work on self-care: Imperfectly Consistent
3. Let me know your goals. If you're reading this, it's probably because you relate to me. If you are ready to dive in to a closer connection with me, let me know what's up with you: Coaching with Jaclyn